Which Panthers Will Be Impacted Most by a Shortened Preseason?
5. RB Rodney Smith, LB Chris Orr, other UDFA's
The more opportunities there are for an undrafted free agent, the likelihood of them making the 53-man roster increases. Now, only having two games to showcase their talent is going to be difficult, especially since one of those games will be primarily used for the starters and main contributors.
The Panthers feel strongly about Minnesota running back Rodney Smith and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Orr. The front office was shocked when they both went undrafted and immediately took action to get them signed. They have the best chance of the UDFA's that the Panthers signed, but having only two preseason games could take a huge hit on their hopes of making the cut.
4. QB's Will Grier, P.J. Walker
Teddy Bridgewater is the clear starter, but behind him, there are some unknowns. Will Matt Rhule and Joe Brady instill their confidence in Will Grier to make progress in his development or will they side with XFL star P.J. Walker? This is going to be an interesting battle once camp opens up and only having two games to settle on your backup is a tough ask.
3. CB Eli Apple
Recently signed corner Eli Apple is looking to revamp his career in Carolina after a not too hot of a start with the Giants and Saints. With a shortened preseason, it gives him less time to get acclimated to his new surroundings and teammates in an actual game-like situation. Developing chemistry in practices and position meetings will be even more important now.
2. DL Kawann Short
Kawann Short at No. 2? You bet. After missing 14 games in 2019 due to a partially torn rotator cuff, Short needs as much time as possible to get back to game speed and feel confident in his shoulder being healthy. Depending on where Short is at health-wise, we may not see him at all in the preseason, but it is too early to determine that.
1. QB Teddy Bridgewater
No other player will be effected more by a shortened preseason at a higher level than Teddy Bridgewater. He is filling in as the team's replacement for Cam Newton, which already comes with high expectations, let alone trying to get the timing down with his receivers and understanding the offensive line's strengths and weaknesses. Having less reps may mean the Panthers offense takes a little longer to actually find their rhythm.
Who do you think will be impacted the most by a shortened preseason? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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